BUFF SCOTT, JR.
Our Source of Unity & Salvation
[See below “Starbucks & The Two
Let it be echoed that I’m a strong promoter of both the old and new covenant scriptures, believing them to have come our way through God’s providence. They are our guide, not our Savior. All the same, I do not believe those scriptures are our source of unity and salvation, but rather the Man
those scriptures describe.
Unity and salvation abounded among the early believers, even though not one word of the new covenant scriptures was written until decades later. If a volume of scripture could save and confer unity, the old covenant scriptures would have been sufficient. Our unity and salvation are not contingent upon our conforming to a volume of letters, as important as they are, but upon the Man
who provoked his servants to compose them.
If I were to tell you in a letter I have a few expensive gifts to give you, free of charge, would you conclude the letter itself
would bestow those gifts or the person behind
the letter? My letter may instruct you what to do to receive the gifts, but it would not be the provider. And so it is with our biblical letters.
Just because one’s conception of some biblical topic does not rhyme with someone else’s, does not translate into a disregard for scripture. Even though all of us have a high regard for scripture, yet we are occasionally off-center. We all are fallible, but in different ways and in different doctrinal areas.
Therefore, our understanding of scripture varies, for not two of us have the same degree of education and insight. If misapplying and misunderstanding scripture is a matter of salvation lost, not one of us will reach heaven. Even the apostle Peter found it hard to decipher all that Paul wrote. “There are some things in them
[Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand” [2 Peter 3:16]
Consequently, the scriptures are not our Savior, nor do they, of themselves, create unity. But the Man
in scripture furnishes both! How, then, should we fathom James 1:21 and kindred scriptures? James writes, “Therefore put away filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls”
[spirits]. [Side Note: “Soul” and “spirit” are oftentimes used interchangeably. In the passage just quoted, “souls” is best translated “spirits,” as man’s spirit “is the essence that differs from the body and is not dissolved by death.”—Thayer’s Greek Lexicon.]
So does the “implanted word” save? Of course
. But James is not referring to a volume of scriptures. He is referencing the messages that point to Jesus, our only Savior. Long before James scripted these words, believers had been saved. “Word” is frequently used to depict our Lord or to the dispatches that point to Him. As Peter says, “And this word is the Good News that was preached to you” [1 Peter 1:25]
John portrays it even better. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”
[the Son]. He was in the beginning with God” [John 1:1-2]
. John of course is not intimating that which has been written, namely scripture, but a Person. Again, believers had been saved by the “Word”—or “word”—long before John penned these remarks.
______ STARBUCKS & THE TWO “DISPLACED” MEN— The other day, in Philadelphia, two black men were removed from a Starbucks by police at the behest of the store’s manager, who said they had tried to use the bathroom without placing an order.
I’ve been watching this story unfold and twisted by the liberal press and how they “recounted” their version of the incident, and I’m prompted to offer a few observations.
These two men were occupying a table for a period of time and had not ordered anything. After sitting at the table for a while they asked to use the Restroom, but were denied because they had not placed an order.
1] Could the incident have been staged for the purpose of contriving a case of racism? Very possible, considering the results that followed.
2] Were the two fellows shiftless, without jobs and not looking for work? Perhaps.
3] If loafers, a business facility has the right to professionally approach them with a message, “Say, fellows, if you don’t intend to place an order, we ask you to vacate your table so that paying customers can occupy it.”
4] If they refuse, shouldn’t the manager notify the police?
I can see the possibility that management did not handle the circumstances adequately, yet the survival of his business depended upon paying customers, not loafers—assuming, of course, these two men were just loafing around. The press reported that one of the fellows said they were “waiting for a business meeting,” or words to that effect.
Business meeting? Neither fellow was dressed in a business suit, or even neat casual clothes. In fact, one of them was wearing either sweat pants or pajamas bottoms, and a long white string was hanging and swinging from the front of whatever he was wearing.
The whole episode is suspicious. But let’s change the picture somewhat. Let’s suppose two “losers”—loafers—white men, had entered the business and occupied a table for a long period of time without ordering anything. They, too, asked to use the restroom. After an hour or so they are still there occupying a table that could be occupied by paying customers.
Management finally asks them to leave. They refuse. Should the police be notified? Of course. Every business desires an attractive environment. The two “losers” who are just “hanging around” are not conducive to an attractive environment.
The police arrive and escorts the two white men off the premises and places them under arrest. No one complains. Protests are not organized. Nothing more is said about it and the liberal press does not even cover the story.
See where I’m coming from? This racism bit has gotten out of control. And the liberal press feeds into it by blowing it out of proportion. So now, because of the systemic negative coverage, Starbucks loses a portion of its reputation. Bottom line: Our society is slowly “going to the dogs,” and common sense has been tossed to the wind. Our society is sinking rapidly.—Buff.